Homemade Payday Bars

Homemade Payday Bars | Cookies and Cups

I’ve been keeping a secret from you.

It’s sort of embarrassing.


I’ve signed up to do a Mini Triathlon.  Please stop laughing.  Or gasping.

I will tell you that I didn’t go about this on my own.

I was peer pressured.


You see, I have sporty friends who are all about working on their fitness.

I am aware I need new friends, but until then I am stuck doing physical activities.  Because I can’t say no.

And also because I have an annoying affliction where I am worried I will miss out on ALLTHEFUN.


Clearly I am aware that there will be no fun on that triathlon day.  Yet still.  What IF?


Anyhow, the event is in September.

And my husband has started asking me when I’m going to start “training”…which isn’t annoying at all.


But I am happy to say that I have made the first step in race preparation.

I bought a sports bra…

that counts, right?


Also, sports bras are annoyingly expensive and OMGuncomfortable.  Like running isn’t painful enough, I now have to have an undergarment hanging onto all my bits and pieces for dear life, as well?


Apparently if my friends jump off a bridge, you can guarantee that I won’t be far behind.  Luckily I never became friends with hobos.


So while I procrastinate my “training” I made some Homemade Payday Bars.

And just so you know, I got the recipe for these from one of my sporty friends…

She is clearly trying to sabotage me.


Homemade Payday Bars | Cookies and Cups

These are amazingly easy.

They’re a no-bake dessert..actually you just need a microwave.


Start with a greased 9×13. Layer half your peanuts on in the dish.
 photo IMG_9592_zpsffbdd794.jpgIn a large microwave safe bowl melt a bag of peanut butter chips and a few tablespoons of butter together…
 photo IMG_9597_zpsabceaa5e.jpgStir it until smooth.
 photo IMG_9598_zps6478bdca.jpgWhen the chips and butter are melted pour in your sweetened condensed milk…
 photo IMG_9614_zps306c65fa.jpgStir that in and then add your marshmallows.
 photo IMG_9619_zps0ed7b5f8.jpgAlso, this is the reason to use a large bowl…I did not…
 photo IMG_9636_zps1f8ed4b7.jpgStir that all up and pour over your nuts…

 photo IMG_9644_zps7ff6dc41.jpgPress the remaining peanuts into the marshmallow mixture.
 photo IMG_9647_zpsddc11279.jpg

Sprinkle some flaked sea salt on top and let them chill for a bit before cutting into squares.
Homemade Payday Bars | Cookies and CupsHere’s the sweet handwritten recipe…
 photo payday_zps95374326.jpg
Here’s printable recipe…



Homemade Payday Bars


makes 30 bars


  • 16 oz salted dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (10.5 oz) bag mini marshmallows
  • 12 tbsp flaked sea salt


  1. Spray 9×13 pan with baking spray or grease with butter. Sprinkle 1/2 peanuts in the bottom of the pan, reserving the other half for later
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat peanut butter chips and butter in 30 second increments on 50% power. Stirring after each until melted.
  3. Pour in you sweetened condensed milk and microwave on high power for 1 more minute. Stir until smooth and combined.
  4. Fold in marshmallows to peanut butter mixture until evenly coated and then pour over your peanuts in the pan.
  5. Press the remaining nuts into the marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt and chill for about an hour.
  6. Cut into squares.


recipe from the kitchen of Angie Bonfanti.


61 Responses

  1. I made homemade Payday Bars in December! It was right before xmas and knew I ‘should’ be making xmas cookies but made these instead. I loved them and love your version and the handwritten recipe.

    Congrats on the mini tri! They’re fun and way more do-able than a full tri and that is so awesome!!

  2. These looks awesome! I am on a sweetened condensed milk kick so these are perfect!! Love the cute handwritten recipe!

    Congrats on the tri! You will do awesome and it gives you an excuse to eat more of these bars!!

  3. Ok, first of all – YUM! These look AWESOME! Paydays have always been one of my favorite candy bars! I used to trade for them at Halloween with my siblings. 🙂 My son only recently discovered the joy that is a Payday (and he’s almost 20!! Wait, did his mom always eat them out of his Halloween stash…?), and I’m totally making these for him!

    I just recently got suckered into, I mean, signed up for a 5K. Yikes!! But, mine is in about a month! One of the things on my to-do list for this week is buy a sports bra. 🙁 I KNOW you feel my pain!

  4. I am so excited for you! Okay, so it may not seem like “fun” in the traditional sense, but I guarantee that you will experience such a feeling of accomplishment and well-being that you might even find yourself trying to convince others how much fun it is.

    And these bars…yep, that’s what I call a good training treat.

  5. cate

    Ugh. My triathlete fiancee tricked me into doing a mini tri last weekend. I run almost every day and swim regularly, but I hadn’t been on my bike in over a year. If he had given me some warning about the race, I would have at least done SOME bike training, but I had absolutely none. And it showed. The swim and run went great, but I got passed by over half of the field on the bike. They write your age on the back of your leg (tell everyone why don’t you) and I kept getting passed by people would could have been my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother….

    Anyways, as long as you train (and it sounds like you’ve got great workout buddies), I just know you’ll do great! Go Shelly!

  6. That is exactly how I found myself signed up for a Tough Mudder a few years ago…turns out it was actually way more fun than I anticipated. You will do great!!!! Clearly your friend is trying to sabotage your training because there is no way I could stay out of these bars!!! Holy yum!!!

  7. OMG I love Pay Day!! When I was training (ha, love you) I craved Pay Day like nobody’s business, and I haven’t eaten one in years! Needless to say my fingers were cramming quarters into the vending machine in my apartment building as soon as I saw them in there.
    But I am so excited for you and your mini tri! And your new sports bra (yes, yikes expensive!)! Can’t wait to hear the updates on it!

    1. Shelly

      That’s so funny that you craved a Payday when training. Now that you’ve planted THAT seed, I can see what I will be eating all summer 🙂

  8. I’ll stay home and make the Payday bars. You go run, etc. LOL!
    These were my favorites once upon a time. Now I try to find the mini ones around Halloween. You have given me an excuse to try these out.
    Thanks for sharing and good luck!


  9. Amber

    I actually have this same recipe from my husband’s aunt. And they are AH-mazing! Sometimes (in warmer weather) I can’t get them to set up so I just throw them in the fridge for a few hours. YUM!

  10. JanK

    Good luck on the tri hope you do well. These payday bars sound yummy, I just love payday’s. We have one that is even easier and you can carry it with you where ever you go um or run. You mix dry roasted peanuts and candy corn together in a zip lock bag and eat it on the go. We call it corn salad, cause, well it sounds healthy sort of.

  11. DM

    I “am” that sporty friend in my group – trust me you will LOVE the feeling of completing your first Tri! I did my first last summer and am signed up for two this summer. They are addicting – kinda like these bars… MUST make these for our next open water swim to celebrate not drowning

  12. Holly

    Did my 1st tri last summer. Totally fun and scary! Is it an open water swim? Practice if so! Train. Bake. Repeat.

  13. Lisa G

    I Love Pay Day! Thanks for this super easy recipe. Can’t wait to make them 🙂

    I haven’t signed up for any such events, but did recently join the gym. My youngest child is 3 yrs old so I can no longer keep calling it baby weight 😛 Sports bras are the worst to shop for. I did find one like this that works well and I can even jog on the treadmill without my chest hurting. http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12565220&locale=en_US&clickid=prod_cs

  14. Call me a sadist but I am SO excited for you! Of course…that’s coming from a three time marathoner…so yeah. I bet you’ll love it though. Afterwards. No one ever loves it DURING the event. But the afterward is so awesome.

  15. I made a homemade payday bar eons ago (I’m sure the photos are atrocious), but they really spread after I cut them. Still tasted great but not so presentable. These look wonderful!

  16. Yum, yum – one of my fav candy bars. I’m happy to report that there are some comfortable sports bras out there, but it takes some searching. Try the Moving Comfort brand =)

  17. Crystal

    Definitely start training for the biking! The swim is so short that if you know how to swim it wont be too bad. Running isn’t that bad, and even if you walk it all, the time difference for it wont be as much as it could be on the bike. And your backside needs to get acclimated to the bike seat! I started biking a year ago, and that was definitely the hardest part, but once you are used to your seat, its not bad (and you can coast while biking- there is no coasting in running!)

  18. Jon Kelly

    So perhaps I’m the token male here, but I love to bake. My wife has a sweet tooth so baking is the quickest way to her heart!! I made these yesterday and they were fantastic! I think I’ll make them again but next time, I’m going to increase the peanut butter chip mixture and reduce the marshmallow. Can’t wait to try more of the other recipes on here…and I don’t run and I’ve never had a sports bra! 🙂

  19. I have this exact same recipe that I posted back on December, 2011 on my blog. I got my recipe from a dear friend years ago except mine used the stove top and not the microwave oven. I found it interested that there has been recent surge in traffic to my post about them. I always wonder about such things. Glad to know that yours were just as tasty as mine. Yours look yummy. Good luck with your triathlon.

  20. Whoa. My husband will love me. And please, no more talk of running. It’s making me tired. 😉
    P.S. Whenever you’re having a bad day of “training,” even if you just end up putting on the sports bra, or walking around the block, my motto is “A bad day at the gym is better than no day at the gym.” Fo’ real, yo. #highfive

  21. Lori D

    Found these on Pinterest and made them for work and they were a huge hit!! Thanks so much for sharing. Now going to check out the rest of your recipes! 😀

  22. Rosario

    Hello from Chile!! I have a question… here we don´t have peanut butter chips… can I replace them (and the butter) with normal or chunky peanut butter? I hope you can help me… these bars looks amazing!

    1. Shelly

      I wouldn’t use normal peanut butter only.. maybe mix it with some white chocolate so it sets up better. peanut butter only won’t set up.
      Maybe you could try ordering online?

  23. Barbara

    Has anyone tried making these with peanut butter instead of peanut butter chips? I’m out of the chips so I’m wondering if I can substitute just peanut butter.

  24. Maureen

    Can these these be stored at room temp or should be kept in the fridge? I ask because the sweetened condensed milk is stirred in , not cooked in the microwave.

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